Thursday, November 10, 2011

Toon Hong on right track after giving roller skating a second shot

PETALING JAYA: When he was a kid, Foo Toon Hong tried his hand at roller-skating and failed miserably.
He then gave it up and went to the US in 1997 to study aerospace engineering.

In 2003, he decided to give it another try and a year later he was a regular participant in skate marathons across the US.

“While I was still studying I decided to try something that I always thought was impossible – skating – and I’ve been in love with it ever since,” said Toon Hong.

“At first it was just skate marathons and cross country races because I wasn’t really good at indoor and track events.”

“But in 2006, I joined a top speed team and we had a more structured training. Since then I’ve been slowly picking up on track skating.”

He returned home last year and got in touch with a group of skate enthusiasts in KL. Toon Hong took up the role of a skater-cum-coach for the Malaysian team that will make their first international appearance at the SEA Games.

“At the beginning of this year there were only three members besides me but the group slowly grew over time.
“Right now, we have over 10 members and we train about 7-8 times a week.

“As for the Games in Palem­ bang, we’re definitely the underdogs due to our lack of experience but I can say our girls are good enough for a medal, especially in the relays.”

Toon Hong added that the team had a training camp in China last month with skaters from Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

“Although we weren’t competing, I can say that our times are pretty close,” added Toon Hong.
Besides Toon Hong, the other men in the team are Wong Hoong Tuck, Fauzy Mohd Esa, Benjamin Chee and Soo Yi Wei. The women are Lim Carlye, Lai Yi Zhao, Akidah Aziah and Siti Bainurin Abu Hasan.


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